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Do Not Let Buying For Your Baby Strain Your Budget

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RALEIGH, N.C. — With so much baby furniture to choose from, first-time parents have a lot of decisions to make.

Consumer Reports

says the first thing expectant parents should realize is that they do not need to buy a complete nursery set, although getting a new crib is a smart idea.

"Buying new ensures the crib will meet the latest safety standards," says

Consumer Reports

' Mandy Walmac.

While you can spend a lot more, you should be able to get a good, sturdy crib for $100 to $400. Important features to look for include wheels that move in every direction, but that also lock.

Storage drawers are also handy.

Consumer Reports

says to budget for a new mattress, but do not pay more for a longer warranty.

"Don't be impressed by a five- or 10-year warranty. A baby typically uses a crib for only about two years," Walmac says.

Whether innerspring or foam, the key is to get a mattress that is firm. Better ones have edges with fabric binding.

Consumer Reports

says you should also make sure you cannot fit two fingers side-by-side between the mattress and the crib sides.

As for bedding, you will see plenty of coordinated sets, but

Consumer Reports

says to keep the comforter out of the crib because it is a suffocation hazard.

As for rockers and storage units,

Consumer Reports

says you may be able to save money by shopping in regular furniture stores. Stay away from chests that have drawers on roller tracks because they can pinch little fingers as they close. Also,

Consumer Reports

says to be sure they have drawer stops.


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